2019 Highlights

As I reflect back on Compassion It’s eighth year, I can’t help but feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment and joy. 

Here’s why:

1 – We worked with refugees in Rwanda

Thanks to a partnership with the nonprofit Alight, we supported compassion initiatives in a Rwandan refugee camp, and those efforts may impact millions of displaced people. (Read my three-part blog series about the experience.)

This was a life-changing experience for me and Burrell, and we cannot thank the Compassion It community enough for supporting this initiative with your generous donations.


2 – We led CCT for underserved populations in our communities

I led Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) for female inmates at San Diego’s Las Colinas Detention and Re-entry Facility, and my teammate Burrell Poe led CCT for former gang members on Chicago’s west side.


3 – We helped create Compassion It workplaces

We were thrilled to bring Compassion It to LinkedIn sales managers, 300+ employees of the Schaumburg Library, team members at Classy.org, leaders of the public sector of San Diego County, and others.

Plus, we continued to support the staff of the University of Chicago Medical Center with monthly video calls.


4 – We facilitated a global discussion around healing the wounds of genocide

Anthony Pico, the retired chief of the Kumeyaay Native American tribe, reached out to me after reading about our experience in Rwanda. As a healer and advocate for his fellow Native Americans, he wanted to learn from the restorative justice and reconciliation work being done in Rwanda. We facilitated a call between him, his Southern California Warrior Spirit team members, and Emma Rutikanga of Rwanda’s Hope and Peace Foundation.

After the video call, Anthony wrote to me, “I could not have a more beautiful friend to help facilitate what could be a ground-breaking endeavor.  I realize our issues are very complex and have been on-going for more than 500 years and involved the death of 130 million people from the tip of South America to the arctic circle.  Just to be a part of a possible solution….I don’t have the words.”


5 – We continued to cultivate compassion within schools

We brought Compassion It to High Tech High educators, students in southeast San Diego, Riverside County after school program facilitators, and college students at San Diego State. Additionally, our wristbands continue to be used in classrooms and schools across the United States and world.


6 – Three books published in 2019 included Compassion It!


7 – We made the news…in other countries

I was interviewed for a November article published in Diario ElMercurio – a newspaper out of Chile. We hope the article’s message about teaching kindness and compassion to children is far-reaching in Chile and beyond.

We were also mentioned in this University World News article.  Zainab Faiza leads an award-winning healthcare initiative at a squatter settlement in Pakistan, and she’s been using Compassion It as a resource.


8 – Burrell and I reached 1,000+ adults, 200+ K-12 students, and 80+ college students through in-person trainings in the U.S. and beyond!

Along with the trip to Rwanda, I had the opportunity to teach compassion during the Gathering of Joy in Todos Santos, Mexico. What a tremendous experience!

We are thrilled that our simple “Compassion It” message continues to spread and impact people of all walks of life on every corner of the globe. It is an honor to do this work every day, and we look forward to what 2020 has in store for us!

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